THE SWEAT MUSEUM
Molino & Lucidi
Molino & Lucidi
During the fifties, West Germany was experiencing a prosperous phase for employment, the so-called Wirtschaftswunder (economic miracle), a rapid reconstruction and development due to U.S. economic aid.
While West Germany showed an acute shortage of labor, in southern European countries and in Turkey unemployment was increasing. American political influence pushed West Germany to search for workers outside the national borders and to sign bilateral agreements with countries where unemployment rate was high: Gastarbeiter (guest workers) got recruited all over Southern Europe. Italy was among the first ones to join and Turkey followed some years later.
Italian artists Simona Molino and Matteo Lucidi ‑both residing in Germany- reflect on their expats condition starting from those historical events in order to focus the attention on the efforts and struggle of human beings dealing with everyday changes. Moving abroad, looking for a new job and a new apartment, communicating with a different culture are just a few examples of all difficulties an individual must endure. Daily life forces us to face a constant succession of changes, conflicts and risks, that can easily increase our psychophysical stress.
The two artists aim to convey this state through the metaphor of sweat. Moisture drops appearing on our body’s surface because of sweat glands secretion can increase because of heat, strain or strong emotions, as a result of both mental and physical stress. Perspiration of all kinds is induced by a change: a jump in temperature can make the glands secrete more liquid to reduce our body heat through evaporation; the transition from a state of rest to motion while doing sport or a great physical effort; the occurrence of several adversities causing a state of apprehension.
Molino & Lucidi stage the “Sweat Museum” by setting up a visual path where objects, maquettes, photographs, texts and videos tell a story about the diverse aspects of this moisture. Their work investigates the way sweat is perceived and analyzed in communication, politics, religion and marketing, throughout different ages and societies.